Game Time: Starday, 4th of Rova, 4708 A.R.
Picking up the trail of the Raiders, the Duke’s Men carry on through the woods. Near mid-day an exodus of forest animals catches the attention of the Druid who mystically speaks with a fleeing squirrel and finds that man leather clad bowmen are approaching from the north. Guessing these to be the raiders, they set an ambush and as the Hunting Party passes, they strike. They strike down the Rangers and Rogues quite handily at first. The Druid’s Wolverine form leaps upon a wounded and fleeing Red-Shoulder Ranger and bears him to the ground mauling him into unconsciousness. Gavrus Firth, The Ustalavi Inquisitor handily guns down two more of the brigands. Wu the Monk of exotic Tien Xia unleashes attacks with blinding speed against the hunting host, smashing them with fist and foot. However, when the Shoanti Tribesman Carl Three Eyes quite nearly kills the Druid in his Wolverine wildshape, the party recognizes the serious threat bring their most powerful attacks to bear on the evil savage. Fod sunders his shamanic scythe and deftly avoids his vorpal Tomahawk, hacking the wily cannibal grievously as he tries to make his escape. And Tiberius the House Wizard unleashes a powerful Lightning Ball and fells him to the forest floor. The Duke’s Men emerge victorious! The four surviving Bandits are taken prisoner and Gavrus demands they take them to their encampment. The first refuses, terrified of the horrid, bloody vengeance that their leader, Torak the Dog of the Witch Queen will mete out on them if they betray him. Gavrus spares his life and questions the next prisoner. This hardened tough wont talk. Fod Dur brings out the barely conscious but still alive Carl Three Eyes, condemns him for his crimes against the duke and bloodily beheads him right in front of the captives. Still the laconic Bandit wont talk. Gavrus kills the taciturn first prisoner and offer the second one last chance to speak and to lead them to their Chieftain. He refuses again and is killed for his loyalty to the evil barbarian. One prisoner remains and he has a change of heart, re-evaluating the wisdom of his association with the Forest Raiders and agrees to help the Duke’s men if they will spare his life. Gavrus agrees not to kill him but advises that he will still be given over to the authorities for judgment though he promises to speak on the prisoner’s behalf for leniency in return for the help he will give them. The party rests and just past the witching hour that night, they make their way through the dark woods at night to arrive at the bandit camp in the darkness before the dawn.
The Raider’s fortified encampment is built with clever defenses. An oily moat surounds a terraced, defensible zigurrat with impeding hindrances and traps built in along it’s ramped ingress. Tiberius cloaks Gavrus in a glammer that changes his appearance to that of a Red Shoulder Ranger. Fod and the prisoner approach the encampment in the open calling for help and announcing that pursuers are on their heels. Tiberius takes to the air in magical flight as the Druid shifts into a Falcon and alights to scout the area as well. Fod and Lei Wu sneak in under the cover of a solid fog spell. Tiberus is narrowly missed by a hurled boulder that flies from out of nowhere and in response he explodes the camp-top with an enourmous fireball, blasting off the hide tents of the raiders and setting alight the stores of their ill-gotten loot.
Torak continues to fling boulders at the heroes, protected by a powerful invisibility dweomer and eventually is revealed by Mastiah’s simple Faerie Fire spell. Then the true battle begins in earnest. Torak disarms Fod with a boulder, pinning his sword to the ground. Lei Wu attacks in a blinding flurry of snake fist techniques and Gavrus unloads blunderbuss barrells and revolver shots into the giant with lightning speed. Torak reassesses the battle and leaps for a lower level of the ziggurat. Fod, hot on his heels, charges and attempts to tackle him and drag him down into the moat but it surprised to find that the hulking Viking possesses the strength of a giant and is nonplussed by his attack. The Druid collapses the earthen rampart of the ziggurat ramp tumbling the Dog of the Witch Queen into the moat. Fod Dur grapples the Dog and holds him in the water as fire is rained down on the moat, igniting the oil on the surface and finally killing the northman. The group gives a sigh of relief.
In the aftermath, the pillaged tradegoods stolen fromt he villagers are returned with the help of a wagon and the last Brigand prisoner is brought back to the village for trial. Despite Gavrus Firth’s request for leniency, the villagers are out for vengeance for their many dead and he is summarily hung and burned to ash to the satisfaction of the Ustalavi peasants.